Charlie Janzen - 01/13/2009
The message Addressing Factious Criticism is one of the best messages I have heard in a long long time.
About eight years ago, the Lord revealed to me that I was just the person described in David's message. I was controlled by a strong gossiping and slandering spirit. He also showed me that I was a user of unjust scales.
Now I would repent of this over and over but just kept falling back into these sins over and over again. Finally I got so frustrated that I asked the Lord, "Why can I not get free from these sins?" What He said changed my life dramatically.
He said that I would not be free from the spirit of gossiping and slandering until I stood before a body of believers and asked their forgiveness. He explained to me that gossiping, slandering, and usage of unjust scales are sins against the entire body of Christ and therefore require corporate forgiveness. Well, I was desperate to be set free from this bondage so I asked the Lord, "Where do I go?" (I have been out of the church systems since the early '90s and did not belong to any group.)
He put in my heart a name of a church here in the village where I lived. So I went to that church and at a designated open sharing time stood up and confessed these sins before the body of Christ who was there. It was interesting to watch in the spirit how the people were responding to my public confession.
At first, there was an uncomfortable and tense silence (like they were horrified that I was confessing my sins out loud before everyone) which then gave way to judgment and condemnation. But I was determined to get deliverance from these strongholds in my life, and I didn't care how embarrassing or humiliating it was for me. So I pressed on and shared God's Words of knowledge that He had given me.
I then sat down to wait upon the Lord. Well, that pastor stood in front of the church, totally flabbergasted at what I had done and didn't know how to respond. So he just continued on with the church bulletin agenda. I felt hurt and disappointed because I was convinced that if I would humble myself before the Lord and His people that He would be faithful and just to forgive my sins.
I asked the Lord about this in my heart, and an elder in the church stood up. He interrupted the pastor politely and said, "This young woman came here today and confessed her sins before this body and asked for our forgiveness and we as a body need to forgive her". So the pastor asked the church assembly to stand and asked the congregation, "Do you forgive this woman of her transgressions?" The church as one then responded, "Yes".
The pastor then prayed and thanked the Lord for the example I set before the church. Now as the church spoke their corporate forgiveness over me, I saw this vision coming down out of lower heaven: a black umbilical cord that was attached to my stomach.
When the church pronounced their corporate forgiveness I saw a huge pair of silver scissors appear and sever the cord. I literally felt myself jerk as the strongholds left. Since that day, I have been wondrously and gloriously set free!!!
So for all those out there who know you have a major problem with these sins and haven't been able to break free of it, go find a corporate body of Christ and stand before the assembly and confess your sins. He will set you free! I didn't even attend this church and yet God used them.
(1Jn.1:9) If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(Jas.4:7-12) Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will life you up. Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?
(Joh.8:34-36) I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.